RMA (REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS )
The concept of a “revolution in military affairs” has become such a pervasive topic of discussion among security experts. The concept, Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), evolved from the ideas developed by the Soviet military theorists in the early 1970s.
The Soviet concept on the matter was more limited than an RMA, as it was called a military-technical revolution; showing that the primary focus of Soviet theorists was on revolutions in military technology.
Hence, while applying their new concept to the changes in military affairs RMA took place before the 1970s; Soviet theorists concluded that two military-technical revolutions have so far taken place in the 20th century.
The first of these revolutions, according to Soviets, took place during, or soon after, World War I, as it was “driven by the emergence of aircraft, motor vehicles and chemical warfare;” while the second, was “driven by the development of nuclear weapons, missiles and computers in World War II”
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According to Galdi (1995), a revolution in military affairs (RMA) takes place when one of the participants in a conflict attains immediate victory through a new combination of new technology, organization, and doctrine.
Another definition of an RMA comes from Hundley (1999).
Hundley defines an RMA as a “paradigm shift in the nature and conduct of military operations” which either
- makes irrelevant or obsolete “one or more core competencies of a dominant player,” or
- creates at least one new core competency in a new dimension of warfare, or
The core competencies, as used in the above definition, refer to those fundamental abilities that create the foundation for a set of military capabilities. For example, a core competency of today’s U.S. Air Force is its ability to detect from the air and attack with precision weapons any vehicular targets on the ground.
A dominant player is a military organization which has “a dominating set of capabilities in an area of military operations.” For example, the U.S. Air Force is today’s dominant player in air-to-ground attacks and air-to-air combat
The dimension of warfare is a medium on which warfare is conducted.
Until the 20th century, the only two dimensions of warfare were the surfaces of the earth (land warfare) and water (naval warfare)
In the 20th century, warfare rapidly expanded into other mediums, especially underwater (undersea warfare) and air (air warfare), “and the homelands of the combatants (strategic warfare and intercontinental warfare).” More recent, potential dimensions of warfare, which have not yet been employed, include outer space (space warfare) and cyberspace (information warfare).
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